Hello -- I just read your guest post and found it very helpful. I was wondering if you could share guidelines for fees in a work for hire situation?
Lindsey, Payment varies widely according to length and publishing house. Most payments are flat-fee (no royalties), but occasionally an author might receive an advance against royalties in a work-for-hire situation. For a short text aimed at early readers the range would be a couple of hundred dollars. A picture book would run $1000-$1500. Chapter books to middle grade might run $1500 to $4000 depending on the word length. These numbers are just guidelines, as publishing houses vary.
Hi Rebecca, I loved your Malala book! How long did it take you to write the manuscript (not counting edits)? Was this an assignment through a work-for-hire publisher? Had you been published in children's writing before you were assigned a work-for-hire project? I was wondering how you interested the publisher to take a chance on you, if by your teaching career and/or previous children's writing. Thank you!
Thank you for your interest in For the Right to Learn: Malala Yousafzai's Story. Yes, it was a work-for-hire project with a twist. I had already authored three books for the publisher when I was asked to "audition" for this book. I researched and submitted a sample, along with other writers, and I was chosen for the assignment. I had already planned to write about Malala, so it was a good fit. Deadlines are very tight with this type of writing. You often have only a month to research/outline and a month to write, with rounds of edits following that. This book was already in production the day Malala won the Nobel Prize, so both the illustrator and I had to make last minute changes to the first page. Are you interested in writing work-for-hire, Trudi?
Yes, Rebecca. I love the kind of nonfiction picture books like Malala (yours) and others that are so compelling. I'm certain adults enjoy them as much as children. They can be gripping, and you're left thinking about the character and story long after.
I'm just not certain that short of my showing recent published writing for children, such as in a children's magazine, a work-for-hire publisher would be interested....??
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